Kendrick Lamar Headshot

Kendrick Lamar          

American Hip Hop Recording Artist

Platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper Kendrick Lamar is one of the rare artists who has achieved critical and commercial success while earning the respect and support of those who inspired him. A native of Compton, California, Lamar originally rapped as K. Dot and released a series of mixtapes under that name. Youngest Head Nigga in Charge (2003), issued when he was only 16 years old, caught the attention of Top Dawg Entertainment and led to a long-term association that helped raise the rapper's profile. Training Day (2005) and C4 (2009) also preceded his decision to go by his birth name. The latter was issued the same year he became part of Black Hippy -- beside fellow Top Dawg artists Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and ScHoolboy Q -- a group whose members, for the most part, appeared on one another's mixtapes and albums. Overly Dedicated (2010) was the first Kendrick Lamar mixtape and fared well enough to enter Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart that October. His first official album, Section.80 (2011), was released as a digital download the following year and entered the Billboard 200 at number 113.

By that point in his career, Lamar's reputation had been strengthened through guest appearances on dozens of tracks, and he had the support of veteran West Coast stars as well. During a 2011 concert, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Game dubbed him "The New King of the West Coast," a notion Dre endorsed more significantly by signing Lamar to the Aftermath label. Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D City was released in October 2012 and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Three of its singles -- "Swimming Pools (Drank)," "Poetic Justice," and "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" -- reached the Top Ten of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, with each one enjoying lengthy stays on playlists of urban U.S. radio stations. More significantly, the album showcased Lamar as an exceptional storyteller capable of making compelling concept albums. When the nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards were announced, Lamar was listed in seven categories, including Best New Artist and Album of the Year. He won none of the awards.

Rather than rest, Lamar remained active during 2013-2014, with touring as well as appearances on tracks by the likes of Tame Impala, YG, and fellow Top Dawg affiliate SZA. Early in 2015, he announced that his third album, To Pimp a Butterfly, was due in March with tracks featuring Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Thundercat, and George Clinton. A technical accident caused the digital album to be released eight days early, but it immediately earned rave reviews and topped the Billboard 200 with sales of 325,000 copies within its first week. It made numerous best-of lists at the end of the year, and earned five Grammy Awards in early 2016. In March, Lamar released untitled unmastered., an eight-track album consisting of demos he'd recorded around the time of To Pimp a Butterfly.

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News


WATCH KENDRICK LAMAR PERFORM A TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY MEDLEY ON COLBERT

Stephen Colbert's Late Show is certainly launching with a bang -- beyond the excitement leading up to his first show (with its Donald Trump jokes and surprise Jimmy Fallon appearance), last night's episode featured a full musical performance by Kendrick Lamar.

Kendrick Lamar gave the only performance that mattered at the Grammys

In it, the best rapper alive performs Alright and The Blacker The Berry, two standouts off his latest album, To Pimp A Butterfly. Well, yes, that’s the basic narrative of what he did. It was more than that, though. It was a piece of performance art, a pyrotechnics show, and an outright challenge to white America: Watch this.

Kendrick Lamar thrills an adoring hometown crowd — and conquers ...

The celebrated Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar headlined the first night of FYF Fest on Saturday in Exposition Park.

Kendrick Lamar to Receive Key to Compton - Rolling Stone

Kendrick Lamar will receive the Key to the City from his Compton hometown in February.

KENDRICK LAMAR PRAISED BY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: 'BREAKING NEW GROUND,' 'DOING AMAZING WORK'

Kendrick Lamar has just received high praise from President Barack Obama himself, according to Complex. The “Alright” rapper has managed to get Obama’s seal of approval just days before the 44th president leaves the Oval Office.

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